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That dominion over what is theirs leads property users to take full account of all the benefits and costs of employing those resources in a particular manner.The process of weighing costs and benefits produces what economists call efficient outcomes.
She points out that the shrinking share of workers who can bargain collectively as part of a union—which coincides with slowing wage growth—is not a natural outcome of market trends.
Interest in being in a union is as high as ever, but union representation has fallen because of a decades-long assault on unions from conservative policymakers.
They note the erosion in the federal minimum wage over time, and show that wage growth for low-wage workers has been far faster in states that have enacted meaningful increases in minimum wages.
Black workers endure persistent racial disparities in employment outcomes.
Policymakers can, however, avoid recommending policies that undermine private property.
The excuses for development failure are legion: lack of natural resources; insufficient funding of education, culture, religion, and history; and, recently, geographical location.Josh Bivens argues that wage growth happens if and only if policymakers make it a top priority.Recent months’ low unemployment will pay much larger dividends for workers going forward if it represents a genuine shift in how policymakers weigh the benefits of wage growth versus the risks of inflation, and if it is accompanied by policies that build—or restore—institutions that support workers’ bargaining power.In fact, racial and gender wage gaps have widened since the 1990s—most dramatically for black college graduates.Wage growth is being held back by political decisions and the Trump administration is on the wrong side of key debates.The importance of having well-defined and strongly protected property rights is now widely recognized among economists and policymakers.A private property system gives individuals the exclusive right to use their resources as they see fit.As Friedrich Hayek, Nobel laureate in economics, taught us in another context, we cannot explain success by examining failure: “Before we can explain why people commit mistakes, we must first explain why they should ever be right.” The question that we need to ask is why should nations prosper?We argue that the difference between prosperity and poverty is property.The nation’s unemployment rate has been at or below 4% for the past year and a half.But while a single 18-month stretch of sub-4% unemployment is a good start on an improving labor market, it’s far from sufficient to undo the damage done by a decades-long policy assault on the economic leverage that workers can exert.